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Busy Bee Sep 29, 2018 8:44 PM


Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8330060)
Why would there be? The state has chosen the Rock Island alignment as the preferred HSR corridor between Chicago and Joliet.

I'm not talking about IDOT improvements, I'm referring more to the Crossrail Chicago concept and the true HSR proposal put forward by the Midwest HSR Assoc. which could be more seriously pursued in the future. Those proposals both use the 16th St SCAL connector to get from the IC row to Union Station.

Mr Downtown Sep 29, 2018 9:26 PM

^Those are just train buff fantasies, not even mentioned in any MPO or government planning documents. Why would a private railroad company make capital investment decisions based on that rather than the actual IDOT study?

ardecila Sep 29, 2018 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8330012)

Absolutely no mention of the possibility of use as an entry point for hsr. Sad.

With no government funding stream for HSR and (as of yet) no private company pursuing HSR like in Texas or Florida, we won’t see any forward progress anywhere until the politics change.

The SCAL remains a freight corridor, and I’m glad that CN is investing in the corridor rather than abandoning it, whereupon it would quickly become a 606-esque greenway and utterly destroy the chance for passenger service in the future. A freight reconstruction would also hopefully address the dreadful noise and partially silence the South Loop’s calls for abandonment.

brian_b Oct 1, 2018 7:00 PM


Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8329610)
^It's worth mentioning that CN is about to begin reconstruction of the St. Charles Air Line (the line that runs through the South Loop at 1530 S). They'll be replacing overpasses built for four tracks at Michigan, Wabash, State, Dearborn, and Clark with new single-track spans that don't need any pillars within the street ROW. The centerline of the single remaining track will be moved to the north slightly in order to ease the curves at either end a tiny bit. All bridges except Dearborn will be Cor-Ten steel. The decorative ironwork at Michigan will be saved and—possibly—donated to someone who wants it.

Nothing will be done with the now-unused portion of the ROW, south of the active tracks, and the unused abutments will remain. Officially, that's supposedly because the actual ownership of the SCAL is a partnership, and so BNSF or UP might conceivably have rights to a second track there (the SCAL was never an actual corporation, but just a handshake deal between four of Chicago's earliest railroads). I suspect the real reason is that CN expects to be bought out at market rates if the city ever wants to do a greenway up there, connecting lakefront to riverwalk.

Do you have any additional info about this project? I am SCAL-adjacent and find it hard to believe that they could go single track here - I see two trains side by side on a frequent basis. Also, just west of Clark is a junction with Metra lines - are they doing anything about that?

Mr Downtown Oct 2, 2018 3:32 AM

What additional info do you want?

The diamonds where the SCAL crosses the Metra Rock Island will be moved a few feet west in conjunction with relocation of the Rock Island tracks through the Related Midwest land.

k1052 Oct 19, 2018 12:21 PM

We got some more favorable treatment in the NYT, this time on our trains.

Even though I'd consider our transit rail still significantly behind where it should be in some areas I can understand the contrast to the continuing decline of the NYC system.

Also not mentioned at all is the CTA bus system which, like NYC's, is troubled and beset by falling ridership which remains undressed by the mayor.

ardecila Oct 19, 2018 11:59 PM

^ If anything, New York is the clear leader when it comes to their bus system with the extensive rollout of SBS. Chicago can’t even dream about doing something like that, thanks to Daley’s asinine parking meter deal.

emathias Oct 20, 2018 5:32 AM

I don't remember seeing this posted before:

k1052 Oct 20, 2018 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8351611)
^ If anything, New York is the clear leader when it comes to their bus system with the extensive rollout of SBS. Chicago can’t even dream about doing something like that, thanks to Daley’s asinine parking meter deal.

Yes, I envy SBS but their local bus system has the same problems we do. We could implement SBS but it would mean sacrificing travel lanes at least part of the time since it's hard to delete a bunch of parking now.

Major US cities have totally failed to deal with the worsening congestion brought on by population growth and the explosion of for hire vehicles which is helping cripple bus service. I'm hoping that one eventually implements congestion pricing so that the others will follow.

SIGSEGV Oct 26, 2018 4:59 PM

Billion-dollar plan for rail service from Ohio to Chicago could be in place by 2026

The dream of bringing back passenger rail service between Fort Wayne and Chicago, with stops in Valparaiso and Gary, may be closing in on reality.

Consultants hired by a Fort Wayne-based citizens group said a preliminary analysis shows Amtrak service between Lima, Ohio, and Chicago could start between 2026 and 2030 and could carry between 387,000 and 765,000 passengers a year by 2035.

Why the hell would they stop at Lima and not go to Columbus?

Steely Dan Oct 26, 2018 7:41 PM


Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 8358838)

Why the hell would they stop at Lima and not go to Columbus?

that does seem odd, at least on the surface of it.

"gentleman, i propose we build a new passenger rail route to connect chicago, the de facto capital city of the midwest, to columbus, the state capital of ohio with a large metro area of 2M people and home to one of the largest universities in the nation."

"sounds like a solid plan so far, continue."

"but instead of going all the way to colmbus, let's just build the route 75% of the way there and stop it in some random-ass rural town in the middle of nowhere in NW ohio."

"and you lost me."

Baronvonellis Oct 26, 2018 7:50 PM

And it will take 12 years to build!!! That's crazy! The US can't build anything these days. The transcontinental railway was built in 7 years using 1860's tech lol What's the point?

Vlajos Oct 26, 2018 8:29 PM

Is this just regular rail? Is there even demand for that?

SIGSEGV Oct 26, 2018 8:35 PM

To Ft Wayne, yeah. To Columbus, probably. To Lima, no.

Rizzo Oct 26, 2018 9:56 PM

My car broke down in Lima, OH in 2006. How dare they wait 20 years for this!

SIGSEGV Oct 27, 2018 1:53 AM

I did a rough measurement on Google Earth of what appears to be the shortest extant rail route Chicago -> Valpo -> Ft Wayne -> Lima -> Columbus.

It's about 150 miles to Ft Wayne, just over 200 miles to Lima and just over 300 miles to Columbus.
So about the same distance as St. Louis (but with worse road options... since the freeway route takes you through Indianapolis. Non-HSR should be able to do this in about 5 hours, which, for downtown to downtown, isn't a whole lot more than it would take to fly. If it were brought down to 4 hours (with 110 mph running in the middle of nowhere Indiana/Ohio and perhaps restoring the more direct right of way between Lima and Kenton) I think it would be quite popular.

Mister Uptempo Oct 27, 2018 2:17 AM

For years, groups in Indiana and Ohio have been pushing for Chicago - Columbus VIA Lima, not terminating at Lima.
According to this article from the AP, published on US News And World Report's webpage the information largely mirrors the Trib article, save the terminus of the route.


Push Continues for Rail Line Connecting Chicago, Columbus

An engineering firm says a proposed passenger rail line that would run from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, could see between 387,000 and 765,000 passengers annually.

Oct. 26, 2018, at 3:34 p.m.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A proposed passenger rail line that would run from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, could see between 387,000 and 765,000 passengers annually, according to an engineering firm's analysis.

The Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association and engineering firm HNTB argued Thursday that the proposed Amtrak line would connect cities that don't have convenient connections, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported .

The proposed line includes several stops across northern Indiana, including Valparaiso, Plymouth, Warsaw, Columbia City and Fort Wayne. Stops in Ohio include Van Wert, Lima and Columbus.

"This service is very competitive with auto travel on this corridor," HNTB Associate Vice President Caron Kloser said.

Passenger numbers will depend on the train's speed and the number of daily round-trips, HNTB's analysis said.
Read the entire article at the link.

The majority of the CHI-COL route is supposed to run on the Chicago, Fort Wayne, and Eastern Railroad, owned by Genesee & Wyoming. The CFE portion of the route ends about 20 miles east of Lima, continuing onto CSX at Dunkirk into Columbus. Perhaps the reporter got the info wrong, believing that the route ended at Lima, not just CFE's portion.

ETA - The Route Alternatives Analysis Report from the Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Assn. mentions that the ultimate goal is Chicago-Columbus, which would, according to their plans, start as Chicago-Fort Wayne, with an extension to Lima, followed at some point to terminate at Columbus.

bnk Oct 28, 2018 4:30 PM

I hadn't seen Boring and Chicago in the same sentence in a while

Boring Company to have $16B value after Chicago Airport completes

brian wang | October 27, 2018

Boring Company will show a two-mile tunnel in LA in December and has started work on an 18 mile tunnel in Chicago from downtown to the airport. Successfully completing the airport tunnel will make the tunneling company worth as much as $16 billion. This valuation will be before any full speed hyperloop implementation.

In June 2018, Boring Company was selected as the contractor for a high-speed downtown-O’Hare transport line. A Berenberg analyst has stated that the Boring Co. could be worth as much as $16 billion if it completes the project.

The $16 billion estimate for the Boring Company’s potential valuation was taken from the figures of the Channel Tunnel project, which connects England and France. This will add to the total valuation of Tesla. The electric car and energy company will be a key supplier for the high-speed transport line.

Tesla would be designing and manufacturing the Boring Company’s pods for the downtown Chicago-O’Hare transport line.


Busy Bee Oct 28, 2018 6:01 PM

If it looks like a scam, swims like a scam, and quacks like a scam, then it probably is a scam

ardecila Oct 28, 2018 6:53 PM

Sounds like there is a challenging ROW situation between Lima and Columbus, but possibly Amtrak could run a connecting bus for that last segment. US-33 is already a freeway, and a lightly-used one, along that corridor. Columbus doesn’t have a rail station anymore either.

Politically it’s a lot easier when most of the route lies in a jurisdiction that is supportive of rail investment. See the Detroit or St Louis lines shooting forward with Michigan and Illinois trackage, while service to Madison is nonexistent and service to Minneapolis is at the bare minimum provided by the federally funded, once a day Empire Builder. Indiana is a conservative state also, but they have at least allowed individual cities and regions to make their own decisions about taxes and transit service.

We will see what happens on Election Day in Ohio, Kasich famously killed the 3C rail plan and DeWine would likely continue Kasich’s policies, while Cordray might be more supportive of rail investment.

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